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Conservative MP Louise Mensch criticises BBC Scotland after Limmy Twitter controversy


By Stephen Lepitak, -

November 11, 2011 | 4 min read

MP Louise Mensch has questioned BBC Scotland for commissioning several series of The Limmy Show, after she became embroiled in a war-of-words between the comedian Brian Limond and his attack on the Conservative Party.

Mensch, in her column in the Telegraph today, has questioned BBC Scotland for paying licence fee to commission Limond’s programme, after he posted a picture of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as his avatar picture, with the word’s ‘Die Now’ scrawled in red across it.

The picture was posted by Limond after he received complaints from members of the Conservative Party over a tweet in which he criticised Prince William for becoming involved in the controversy over the England team being denied by FIFA to wear poppies on their shirts.

On Wednesday evening Limond tweeted: “Would Prince William write to FIFA on behalf of the Scotland team wearing poppies? No. Cos he thinks ENGLAND won the war.”

This message was quickly followed by; “I'd love to slide a samurai sword up Prince William's arse to the hilt, then yank it towards me like a door that won't f@*king open.”

This led to a Conservative Party members contacting him to complain, which led Limmy, who is known for tweeting deliberately controversial messages, including many about himself to provoke a response, to turn his attention to the party itself. BBC Scotland then received calls for Limmy to be sacked, despite them releasing a statement claiming that he was not an employee of the corporation.

The next morning, Mensch questioned the comments and Limmy’s use of the Margaret Thatcher avatar.

He would soon after apologise for the tweets, which he deleted before returning his avatar to a picture of himself.

In her column, Mensch wrote: “Obviously, there's a certain breed of comedian who just prefer to say outrageous things rather than actually be funny. But the difference here is that our national public service broadcaster is commissioning series from him. Now, you get fired from the BBC, and rightly so, if you preach racist hate, although Jonathan Ross survived mocking an old man about Russell Brand having sex with his granddaughter with a brief suspension. Therefore, I was pretty sure that it had to be a "parody account" – a Twitter account set up to impersonate somebody famous.”

Mensch continued to question Limmy’s attack on Thatcher, where he Tweeted his pleasure should he hear of her death and whether the BBC should be commissioning the comedian at all.

“But the point is that our license fee should not go to BBC Scotland so they can commission multiple series from a healthy, middle-aged male who chooses to rain such hate on a woman of eighty-six, now mentally frail, vulnerable and unable to answer him back or defend herself. I hope Mr Limond feels like a big man for frothing over the forthcoming death of a very old woman. Maybe he feels proud. Does BBC Scotland feel proud?”

Discussing the picture of Thatcher, along with a red line ‘slashed’ across her throat and her eyes coloured in red, with the words ‘Die Now’ written large above her head, Mensch said that she was not evoking censorship in criticising the comedian.

“Mr Limond can spew what he likes on Twitter. But somebody who puts up violent, hate-filled images, wishing death on a very old, frail woman, is not somebody whom BBC Scotland should be commissioning with public money,” she concluded.

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